Nature Deficit Disorder


Nature Deficit Disorder…it’s real, seriously real

…not like all those other “disorders” advertised on TV,  selling pricey pharmaceutical drugs that you should  “ask your doctor” to prescribe for you.  Many diseases and disorders are just plain conjured up by the pharmaceutical industry to sell a new drug designed to treat a vague disease entity.  This is especially true when it comes to mental health issues.  Feeling blue?  Can’t sleep?  No energy?  Trouble concentrating?  Hyperactive?  Short attention span?  Forgetful?  These all-to-common afflictions are the plague of our times…everyday stress symptoms that are being classified as major diseases, being treated by extremely expensive and often dangerous medications.  Some medications even begin to cause a worsening of the very symptoms they were meant to treat!  I see it in my practice all the time.

I just returned from a trip to the north shore of Kauai, filled up with a big dose of lush tropical energy medicine;  from the water, jungle, trees, rocks, flowers, birdsong, rain and the warm, fragrant tradewinds. After a few days there, the mental chatter got softer and lazier, and I could listen to the voice of nature and my own inner voice. Oh, the beauty and gratitude I experience there! I am practicing staying in that place as I get back into the routine and responsibilities of life at home. It requires dedication and strong intent, with timeouts and deep, cleansing breaths all day long.

B R E A T H E… and feel the beauty and gratitude for all the gifts of life, no matter where I may be, no matter what I’m doing. It is a practice of remembering my true nature.

Whenever we are disconnected with the natural world, we are disconnected with our own essence, our soul.  We are literally cut off from life, drained and depleted.  We feel lonely, frustrated and afraid.  Our immune systems no longer function well, we get sick, we have pain, we overindulge in unhealthy behaviors and life becomes very small, difficult and painful.

Instead of reaching inside the medicine cabinet, get out in nature.  Mother Nature/Mother Earth will never let you down.  She’s the mother that would never abandon you, always giving out unconditional nurturing and abundance, beauty, awe, inspiration and wonder.


Re-engage with the natural world, re-connect with the Life Force, root deeply into the land.  See if you can tune in to the subtle, and not-so-subtle energies of all things.  You just may discover what the shaman knows, that everything is alive, even the rocks and stones hum….Talk to the plants and the trees.  Listen to the music of the birds and water flowing.  Go barefoot in the sand.  Walk down a forest path.  Behold a beautiful desert sunrise.  Climb a mountain.  Jump in the ocean.  Sit on a bench by the lake.

Nature hears you, holds you, heals you and, most importantly, she will help you remember who you really are.



Open up, say aahhhh, and go take a hike!
With love and aloha,






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  • jessica swift May 8, 2014, 5:07 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Barbara! Glad your trip was wonderful. 🙂 And thank you for the reminder — I will go out for a walk today! xoxo

    • Barbara Swift May 8, 2014, 5:24 pm

      Thanks, Jessica. I can’t wait to hear all about your Moroccan adventure and see the photos! Much love.

  • Mary Beth Leisen May 8, 2014, 5:34 pm

    Loved this! I was feeling Nature Deficit Disorder so acutely recently that I thought I was gonna shrivel up or lose my mind. I struggle so much with this, living in Chicago, as it’s flat (and a loooong cold winter), so there aren’t hiking opportunities nearby. I do go sit in the park near me, and while it does help some, there’s nothing like really immersing oneself in the beauty, majesty, and wonder of Mother Nature. I went hiking, and it was so nourishing. Just more evidence that I need to move to a place where I can do this more easily. Thanks for your wonderful post!

    • Barbara Swift May 8, 2014, 5:52 pm

      So glad you loved it, Mary Beth. I know what you mean about living in a place where it’s hard to access nature. Good for you for seeking it in the park, and hiking wherever you are! Hawaii is soooo chock full of life force, I really felt it…stronger than ever before.

      I, for one, hope that you come out west! Much love, Barbara

  • Monique May 8, 2014, 5:55 pm

    I am an avid nature appreciator so this spoke to me. This blog is how I feel when I am outside at work, in my backyard and on my walks. I feel so rooted and in God’s presence when I’m outdoors. It’s calming and really does bring joy. I’m so sad that our society has moved away from what is really impt in life. I’ve been thinking a lot about this kind of stuff since having kids. Love you. Talk to you soon

  • mu'ina May 9, 2014, 9:42 pm

    such peace be with in you as you travel and share with us such beauty and carry to each of us The Remembrance/

    • Barbara Swift May 10, 2014, 12:08 am

      Thank you, Mu’ina! Peace be with you, too. Remembering…

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